Going on walks with their dogs in the woods is a popular pastime for dog owners. However, Kevin Roberts provides guidance on how to avoid bears given that it is currently Hiking prime bear season.
Bears and hiking go together like salad and hair. Yes. Salad and hair. In both cases, there’s a chance you’ll encounter one, so you need to be on the lookout to avoid having your experience ruined. Follow these advice to avoid seeing bears on the hiking trail.
Observe your surroundings carefully. The best course of action is to stay away from bears entirely. You don’t have to be Daniel Boone to know that there is a bear nearby. Rangers will actually post signs in many well-maintained parks warning tourists of the presence of bears or the closing of particular pathways. They are there for a reason, so pay attention to these signs.
In contrast, in more remote areas, you are by yourself. Be aware of the bear-leaved evidence as a result. Like signs from a bear’s behind, poop! Bears usually urinate right on the route, so if there is dung, there is a good possibility that a bear is close.
Of course, the presence of a bear can be detected by looking for its tracks, but bears often leave other indications of their existence. Bears leave various signs when looking for food in addition to flipping over rocks or even tearing apart logs. To mark their territory, bears will scratch at trees. Bears are most active at dawn and dusk, though they can be spotted at any time of the day. Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for danger.
Always keep your dog on a leash.
Since it is not only required by law on most paths but also makes sense, it should be simple. Bears won’t grow enraged if you keep your dog on a leash since they feel comfortable and secure by your side. And I can promise you that you do not want to see a bear in rage!
Related Article: 5 Bear-Avoidance Tips for Walking Your Dog in the Wilderness
Bears may view dogs as potential prey, and one will almost certainly chase a running dog. Several bear attacks have resulted from a bear chasing a dog back to the owner. This scenario is readily avoidable by wearing a leash.
Train your dog.
Walking your dog on a leash is a great start, but it is insufficient. A grizzly bear can be startled by an unruly dog on a leash. Your dog should be familiar with a good set of obedience commands so that you can communicate with him and maintain his composure. It’s typical for both you and your dog to experience dread when you encounter a bear. The more training sessions you and your dog have completed, the more confident you both can be.
When socializing with bears, trainers advise against giving dogs pricey, frequently unpleasant treats or squeaky toys to keep them entertained. A bear might find it difficult to resist the pungent perfume of a reward bag. Positive training methods and substantial rewards are wonderful, but bear in mind that they are incentives rather than threats throughout training sessions. Don’t use money to sway people when you’re out on the trail.
Identifying a Bear
If you and your leashed dog come across a bear on the trail, stopping and assessing the situation is the best course of action.
1. Consider the situation. How far away is the bear? maybe aware of you? Does it watch over a dead body or a litter of cubs? Do you know how to leave this place? Does the bear understand how to leave this area? Maintain composure and select the most efficient escape path.
2. If the bear hasn’t seen you yet, leave. Quietly depart with your dog. Avoid leaving swiftly or hurriedly because doing so can cause the bear to mistake you for a quick meal. A bear can easily outrun you.
3. Did the bear notice you? Maintain composure. Now is the moment to establish more distance between you and the bear. Keep your dog calm and by your side as you move back from the area. This can include going back the way you came or taking a significant detour to get away from the bear.
Bears experience fear and curiosity.
A bear may occasionally become alarmed by a dog and a person. This is typically the case if you catch a bear off surprise or stumble across a mother grizzly and her kids. In a state of fright, a bear may snort, blow, slap the ground, and “snap” its jaw. It might even make bluff claims.
In each of these scenarios, maintain your composure, and teach your dog to do the same. Keep your composure while speaking, then depart the area. You should keep a close eye on the bear to understand what it is doing.
On occasion, a bear might approach you for a variety of reasons. It might be a young animal that hasn’t yet learned to fear humans, or it might consider you as inexpensive food occasionally (waste, campgrounds, picnic baskets), or it might view you as prey all the time. If a bear approaches, keep your dog calm and go away from the trail. The bear may have occasionally just desired to move in your direction. Even so, it might choose to follow you at other times. Keep your composure, talk to the bear, and try to scare it away right now. If it follows you about for a while, it might be thinking of you and your dog as a meal. Now is the moment to get nasty. As soon as you can, start yelling and acting dangerous. Your dogs must still be on a leash at this point so that you can keep control.
Always remember that avoiding bears altogether is the safest course of action. Safely hike while keeping an eye out for bears.